Discussion in 'Humor' started by GotZoom, Jul 20, 2005.
Is that Irish?
: SHENANIGAN - "n. 1855, of uncertain origin. Spanish 'chanada' (a shortened form of 'charranada') trick or deceit, is a possible source, or less likely, German peddler's argo 'Schenigelei' work, craft, or the German slang verb 'schinaglen' to toil." From "The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology" by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995).
Here are a few more theories:
It seems to have originated in California at about the time of the Gold Rush, though it was first recorded in print [April 25 issue of San Francisco's _Town Talk_] only in 1855. ... The word looks Irish, and there was no shortage of Irishmen in the California diggings, so it's plausible to suggest the Irish word _sionnachuighm_ as the source, meaning 'I play tricks', which is pronounced roughly as 'shinnuckeem'. Others argue it comes from an East Anglian dialect word _nannicking_ for playing the fool. Yet others guess at a link with the Spanish word _chanada_ for a trick or deceit, which is another half-way plausible source, considering California's history. Yet another theory was put forward in 1948 in _American Speech_ for an origin in German _schinnage_l for a nail that holds the rim to the wheel, which produced the German slang terms _schinageln_, to work, and _Schenigelei_, a trick.
From "World Wide Words" (Dec 18, 1999)
East Anglican and Spanish seems to indicate Irish/Gaellic. But heh, I don't know whatsit about Irish, other than I am. Oh yeah, and I inheirited a bunch of Havilland China and some lace.
"But our shenanigans are fun!" Their's are evil & sad"
"I swear I'm gonna pistol-whip the next one a' you guys that says 'shenanigans!'"
"Hey uh... Farva... what's that restaraunt you like... the one with all the crazy crap on the walls?"
"You mean Shenanigans?"
Separate names with a comma.